DOH: Prices of medicines remain stable despite rising cost of goods

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — The Department of Health (DOH) said the public can rely on the prices of medicines to remain stable despite the increasing cost of goods in the market.

At a media forum on Wednesday, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department is continuously monitoring the prices of medicines so there would be no issues concerning availability.

"Base sa monitoring namin noong December 2022, isang gamot yung nakita natin — isang set ng gamot — this hypertensive medicines, nagkaroon ng kaunting pagtaas... Sa kabuuan, nagkakaroon tayo ng stable prices of our medicines," said Vergeire.

[Translation: Based on our monitoring in December 2022, we saw one type of medicine, a set of medicines, these hypertensive medicines had a slight increase. But overall, prices of medicine are stable.]

She said the increase in the prices of hypertensive medicines was due to inflation and the weakening of the peso.

“Ang mga gamot ay within the market system kung saan kapag nagkaka-inflation, devaluation ng piso, siyempre commodity yan tataas, bababa depende sa pagtaas at pagbaba din ng inflation,” explained Vergeire.

[Translation: Medicines are within the market system where if there is inflation, devaluation of the peso, as it is a commodity prices will go up or down based on inflation.]

Vergeire credits the stable prices to Executive Order 155, which places a price cap on medicines.

“Sa kabuuan, nagkakaroon tayo ng stable prices of our medicines because of Executive Order 155 kung saan naglagay ng price caps, which started March 2022, kung saan sinabi na ang mga gamot for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, breast cancers kailangan andun sa capping regulating prices para mas accessible,” Vergeire said.

[Translation: Overall, we have stable medicine prices because of Executive Order 155 which started in March 2022, where price caps were put in place for medicines for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, breast cancers to make them accessible.]

CNN Philippines' Pia Garcia and AC Nicholls contributed to this story.